Commemorating the 1860s

2018-11-29 06:00
PHOTO: suppliedMembers of the 1860 foundation Anand Jayrajh (left) and Sharitha Jayrajh(first right), hand a token of appreciation to the minister Pravin Gordhan.

PHOTO: suppliedMembers of the 1860 foundation Anand Jayrajh (left) and Sharitha Jayrajh(first right), hand a token of appreciation to the minister Pravin Gordhan.

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The conference on indenture was held at Sastri College on November 17.

President of the foundation Mr J. Singh in his address said the abolition of slavery from 1833, resulted in a cheap labour crisis in the sugar producing British colonies.

Singh said: “Sugar at this time dictated a large share of world economy and was the bedrock of the economy of the colonies. Alternate labour from India harboured the minds of the sugar planters. On November 16, 1860, the paddle steamer, S.S. Truro claimed historic honours when it anchored in the then Port Natal (Durban) carrying 342 human cargo from South India to the then colony of Natal.”

Singh said the purpose of the conference was to provoke debate and ignite dialogue on the story of ordinary people who were able to transcend to the extra-ordinary, particularly in the domain of education of their descendants.

“We need to create a sense of realism to acknowledge that we are worthy descendants of the indentures labourers, who gave dignity to the labouring class. Let us acknowledge their rightful role, lest they be reduced to a footnote and be lost in the dimness of antiquity. Let us ensure that their sacrifices become etched in history. Let their memories evolve with time and perpetually remain relevant. The indentured labourers contributed significantly to the wealth creation of their masters and the majority became entrenched to form part of the South African landscape.

“Our organisation pledges our loyalty to South Africa.”

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